NH 66 widening may miss deadline by a year

Widening of the 590-km Kasaragod-Thiruvananthapuram stretch of National Highway 66 to a mix of four- and six-lane may skip the December 2020 deadline by around a year due to land acquisition hassles.

“The State government and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) are working hard to complete widening of the busiest NH corridor in Kerala, where many junctions record 1 lakh passenger car units (PCUs) daily. Emphasis has been given to widen the Cherthala-Kazhakuttam stretch,” said G. Kamala Vardhana Rao, Principal Secretary, Public Works.

“Both the Kollam and Alappuzha NH bypasses will be widened to four lane in tandem with the NH widening,” he said. While the Kollam bypass will be commissioned this month, the Alappuzha bypass will be commissioned in April.

Land acquisition is nearing completion on the Thalapady-Angamaly stretch of NH 66. The Angamaly-Chertala stretch is already four-lane, while service roads have to be hewed out.

Land acquisition

Regarding the progress of taking over land at a width of 45 metres, a senior NHAI official said it was in an advanced stage in Kasaragod and Kannur.

Work can be awarded this fiscal to widen the carriageway in the two districts.

“The Thalassery-Mahe bypass work is in progress, while work has been awarded for the Kozhikode bypass. Compensation is being given to landowners in Malappuram and work will be awarded shortly. Land acquisition is under way under Section 3-D of NH Act in the Thrissur-Thiruvananthapuram corridor. The process is expected to be completed in April. Land acquisition gained momentum after the State government appointed a nodal officer to coordinate the process. Most problems that arose after landowners and NGOs petitioned the NHAI and the State have been resolved,” he added.

The construction of NH carriageway, service roads and allied infrastructure has to be completed between 24 and 30 months, depending on the length of corridors handed over to each contractor.

Compensation package

The Union Ministry for Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has promised ₹26,000 crore to widen the NH. “Under this, landowners will get compensation on a par with the highest quantum of transactions done during the past three years, in addition to the ‘multiplication factor’ and the cost of rebuilding structures, irrespective of the age/cost of buildings. They will get a similar amount as solatium,” official sources said.

2,560 hectares needed

A total of 2,560 hectares is needed on the Thalapady (Kasaragod)-Kazhakuttam (Thiruvananthapuram) corridor to widen the NH to 45 metres.

The hybrid annuity model (HAM) will be adopted to execute the widening work, wherein the contractor(s) will bear the entire cost. The MoRTH/ NHAI will repay the amount in the course of 10 years or more. The NHAI will collected toll to realise the money.

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Printable version | Aug 17, 2022 4:50:00 am |